Traditional spiced, sticky glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses. Served as a classic Easter treat, the buns can also be enjoyed at any time of year.
Time 2 hours – 3 hours
For the buns
- 625g/1.3lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 45g/1.5oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 85g/3oz caster sugar
- 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
- 1½ tablespoons fast-action yeast
- 1 free-range egg
- 275ml/10fl oz tepid milk
- 125g/4oz mixed dried fruit
For the topping
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- Vegetable oil, for greasing
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing
- For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast.
- Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix together to a form a soft, pliable dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour to prove.
- Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into twelve equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5–10 minutes.
- Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 240C/220C Fan/Gas 8.
- Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
- When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
- Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8–12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.